BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing National People's Congress annual session on Thursday (Mar 8), Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China will join hands with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to allay the effects of the disruptions so that the South China Sea can continue to be a sea of peace and cooperation.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of China and the members of Asean, tensions have greatly abated and calm has prevailed in the waters over the past two years.
And China and the Asean countries held the first consultation on the text of a Code of Conduct for the waters a few days ago after endorsing the framework for the code of behaviour last year.
However, despite such hard-won progress, while the tree craves calm, the wind will not abate, as a Chinese saying goes.
Some countries from outside the region, the United States in particular, keep trying to throw a spanner into the smooth progress of the regional consensus that peace and stability in the South China Sea cater not only to the interests of China and Asean, but also others who depend on its shipping lanes for trade.
Disregarding the region's clarion call for cooperation, under the pretext of upholding freedom of navigation, the US has repeatedly sent warships to the disputed waters in the South China Sea, where their intrusive and accident-prone operations pose a threat to shipping and unnecessarily put the region on edge.
And the US not only insists on pursuing such a hazardous course itself, it is also urging its allies to weigh anchor and join it.
The United Kingdom, ever eager to do its bidding, is sending an anti-submarine frigate through the South China Sea later this month.
For those who still believe the US is willing to play a constructive role in the region, it is high time they awoke to the bitter truth that its intention is to fan the fires of discord and it does not intend to let those fires be extinguished by others.
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